Many child support grant recipients left without money for January

SASSA spokesperson denies there is a problem, but officials speaking anonymously say otherwise

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The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) denies that there was anything exceptional about January’s payment run. But many people have complained to #PayTheGrants and Black Sash. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks

  • Hundreds of people have reported that social grants for their children have not been paid.
  • GroundUp visited social grant offices in Cape Town and Kariega, where grant recipients lined up to reapply after their grants were suspended.
  • SASSA officials have anonymously told #PayTheGrants, Black Sash and GroundUp that there’s a problem.
  • But the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) spokesperson claims that there has been nothing exceptional about January’s grant payments.

Almost a week after the payment date for the child support grant, many recipients have not yet received their money for January.

Many people nationwide have complained to organisations #PayTheGrants and Black Sash that their grants have been suspended, seemingly for little or no reason. It appears that some old age grant recipients have also been affected.

The child support grant is R510 a month and 65% of children in South Africa receive the grant.

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) denies that there was anything exceptional about January’s payment run. SASSA says that grants are suspended every month for recipients who fail bank verification processes, or who are declared dead by the Department of Home Affairs.

“This is a monthly process that is conducted as part of the pre-payment process and not just specific to the month of January 2024,” SASSA spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi told GroundUp.

But Elizabeth Raiters, who heads up the helpdesk at #PayTheGrants, says that SASSA officials confirmed to her earlier on Tuesday that there was a “system error” and that the matter is being resolved. But it is unclear whether recipients will receive their money before the next payment run in February.

Raiters said she had a meeting with over a hundred affected recipients in Eldorado Park on Monday evening. She estimates that thousands have been affected nationwide.

“It is very bad for beneficiaries,” said Raiters. “Children have to go back to school and now the parents can’t buy food or stationery.”

Black Sash Western Cape coordinator Thandi Hanekom also told GroundUp there has been an uptick in reports of erroneous suspensions.

This has also been confirmed by a SASSA official at a branch in Gqeberha, speaking to GroundUp anonymously.

GroundUp visited branch offices in Mitchells Plain (Cape Town) and Kariega (Nelson Mandela Bay), where grant recipients lined up to reapply after their grants were suspended.

According to Raiters, grants have been suspended for “ridiculous reasons” which never presented problems before. For example, she said, some grants were suspended because recipients had two names on their bank statements but three names on their identity documents.

SASSA’s national payment system has experienced several problems over the past two years. In September, thousands of social grant recipients were left without money after a “technical glitch” disrupted payment into the accounts of recipients who use SASSA Gold cards.

TOPICS:  Social Grants

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Write a letter in response to this article


Dear Editor

I phoned SASSA on Friday afternoon asking why my money was not paid and I was told they have a "technical problem" and that only certain people got their money. I was told to be patient. I feel it's very unfair and to date I'm still waiting. There was only R50 paid into my account. I have three kids going to school but now I'm helpless because I can't buy anything - not even stationery.

Dear Editor

I am not happy at all! I didn't get my child grant for January. I am very disappointed since it's January and am in need of that money for school fees 😭

Dear Editor

I have been trying to get my child grant since Friday the 5th. My gold card was stolen so I've been trying to get a new one. With no luck at all going from post office to post office with no cards being available. I've been trying the card less method with all places telling me the system is unavailable. I am truly frustrated as this is my children's lifeline. Their food everything.

Dear Editor

I am a very stressed mother as I have not received my child support grant for January.

I am a single parent for my 1 year and 8 month baby. I am dependent on the money so my child can survive. I don't know how to overcome this really...

Dear Editor

I have three children in legal foster care with me and I'm entitled to the foster care grant, according to law. This is a totally different grant to the children's grant received by others. I cannot understand why I now fall under the same nonsense that SASSA is claiming. I had no problem receiving my foster care grants previously, so what could possibly be the issue now? This is unacceptable!

Dear Editor

I'm a single mother of a 10 year old autistic child, I have not received my care dependency grant - only a child support grant for two of my children. When I went to the SASSA office they said Head Office sent them message not to assist us as they are going to pay the grant on February. My child can't go to school - he goes to a special school and I'm unemployed.

Dear Editor

I went to SASSA and was told I would only receive my money in February. I do not understand how and why this is happening because they didn't even check on the computer to tell me why the grant was unpaid. If I need to reapply that means even next month I won't get the money for the children. They don't have uniforms and food because I was not helped at the SASSA office. How long will my children continue to suffer?

Dear Editor

I am very disappointed because I didn't get my child grant for the month of January. I contacted SASSA several times and they just said that they are solving the problem. It is now 18 January and I still haven't been paid.

Dear Editor

I haven't been receiving my grant for the past 3 months, even after submitting the documents that were needed. I went to SASSA again last week, only to be told that the problem is with the bank. The bank is rejecting payments. Why on earth would a bank reject my payment? I think SASSA is stopping payments for no reason, and you won't even get a proper explanation why they are not paying you.

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